General Studies Paper 1 (Indian Society): Impact of globalization

Impact of globalization

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Syllabus: General Studies Paper 1 (Indian Society)


Critically examine the impact of globalization on rural society in India. Also delineate some strategies for tapping the opportunities offered by globalization.



Globalization refers to the intensified cross-border exchange of goods, services, capital, technology, ideas, information and people. India underwent significant policy shifts in the early 1990s after adopting the LPG reforms. This promised welfare of the Indian society, by influencing productivity, growth, income distribution, technologies, the security of livelihoods, and policies. However, there are also real dangers of globalization for the rural Indian society.



Impacts of globalization on rural society in India include:

  • Agriculture:
    • In the wake of globalization, farmers were encouraged to shift from traditional crops to export-oriented cash crops.
    • Efficient utilization of farm inputs made farming financially viable and profitable. However, developmental pressure has shrunk agricultural landholdings and commercialization of agriculture has increased dependence of farmers on private players.
    • Further, WTO restrictions on farm subsidies have restricted unhindered state support to the farmers.
  • Economic:
    • On the one hand, it has widened the market for Indian-made products and introduced new manufacturing technologies. However, on the other unequal competition between giant MNCs and dwarf Indian enterprises have shrunk India’s small and medium scale rural industries.
    • Globalization has also pushed rural youth towards less skilled job opportunities abroad.
  • Migration:
    • Globalization has contributed towards shrinking agriculture’s share in the economy and creation of jobs in urban areas.
    • However, this has also denuded villages of workforce. Around 9 million people migrated mostly from rural to urban areas between 2011 & 2016. Moreover, these jobs are usually low-paying and hazardous and informal market jobs.
  • Digital divide:
    • Globalization has given a much-needed impetus to digital literacy in rural areas. However, imbalanced internet penetration and accessibility in rural areas vis-à-vis urban India has widened the existing digital divide further.
  • Socio-cultural values:
    • Removal of cultural barriers has reduced the narrow-mindedness even in rural India. However, such ideas have often conflicted with social ethics of the rural Indian masses and negatively affected marriages, family structure and land relations.
  • Impact on women:
    • Globalization has directly contributed to more participation of females in the workforce even in rural India, thereby, empowering them socially and economically. However, this has also led to ‘double jeopardy’ for women i.e. balancing household and work responsibilities at the same time.


Strategies to tap the opportunities offered by globalization include:

  • Export Orientation:
    • Ramping up exports, supported by policies focused on employment creation & wealth redistribution, to help draw people out of the informal economy, thereby boosting income and reducing poverty.
  • Skilling:
    • Educated workers tend to benefit more from the gains of globalization. Hence, the workforce needs to be adequately skilled.
    • Schemes and policies such as the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana, National Policy on Skill Development and Employment, USTAAD etc. should be properly implemented.
  • Infrastructure:
    • Development of ICT infrastructure, internet penetration and development of digital villages should be prioritized. This would also help in generating jobs in rural areas, thereby reducing migration.
  • Strengthening small & medium scale industries:
    • Policy support to MSMEs for their integration with the global value chain and their competitiveness should be enhanced.
  • Forward linkages:
    • Agricultural sector can benefit through forward linkages with the global economy via development of food processing technologies, promoting agriculture cooperative system or a PPP model for cold storage and warehousing facilities etc.
  • Human development:
    • Social sector expenditure in education, health, nutrition, social protection etc. must be scaled up. Early childhood development programmes must be made universal to offset any advantage to city dwellers.



Overall, globalization is a reality which is here to stay. As a result, these steps should be integrated in our policy approach so that negative effects of globalization are minimized to the maximum extent possible.


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